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Haor flood control project ends without completion

Mohammad Zakaria
26 Sep 2022 00:00:00 | Update: 26 Sep 2022 00:45:21
Haor flood control project ends without completion
After the second revision, the total allocation for the flood control project was Tk 587.29 crore– Courtesy Photo

After continuing for eight long years, the flood control project in haor areas in the country has ended without completion due to frequent change of project directors.

Thirteen project directors have been changed in the project in eight years, resulting in the work of the project incomplete, according to a report of the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the Planning Commission.

The progress of the “Haor Areas Flood Prevention and Drainage Development (Second Revised) Project” was 92.70 per cent before the end of the scheduled time, said the IMED report published in July 2022.

Mentioning that the project activities were disrupted time to time due to the frequent change of project directors, the IMED report said, “No full-time director was appointed for the project that had 13 engineers as project directors. As a result, it was not possible to take the right decision at the right time. The project had to be revised repeatedly by increasing the duration and expenditure.”

Contacted, IMED Secretary Abu Hena Morshed Zaman said, “Mainly due to frequent change of project director, the progress of the project was slow. We try to ensure that project director is not changed again and again, but still it is happening.”

The IMED believes that the water resources ministry should ensure that the directors of the projects implemented by the Bangladesh Water Development Board are not changed repeatedly.

The report revealed that the physical progress of the flood control project in haor areas was 22.51 per cent in the fiscal year 2017-18 and 44.80 per cent in the fiscal year 2018-19.

After the second revision, the total allocation for the project was Tk 587.29 crore, the accumulated expenditure of the project till May, 2019 was Tk 444.38 crore.

At first, Tk 684.94 crore was allocated for the project which was increased to Tk 704 crore after the first amendment. But, after the second amendment, the allocation was decreased to Tk 587.29 crore.

The main works of the project were reconstruction of submerged dams and construction of compartmental, drainage infrastructure, drainage outlets, causeways, and irrigation inlets. Rehabilitation of old regulators, re-excavation of canals and dredging of Surma and Boulai rivers were part of the main works.

The project was being implemented in haor areas of 29 upazilas of six districts in the country.

The project, approved in an ECNEC meeting in 2011, was scheduled to start in July 2011 and end in June 2015. Later, after the first revision of the scheme, the deadline for completing the project was extended to June 2016. After the second revision, the tenure of the project was further extended to June 2019.